Short Stories

Unbranding

LoveFreeOrDie Cover

I am delighted to be a part of this anthology put together by NH Pulp Fiction and published by Plaidswede. It’s a great collection of stories, part of a series NH Pulp is doing on various genres. The theme for this one is romance, all set in the Granite State. My offering, “Unbranding” takes place in the North Country of New Hampshire, and isn’t at all pulpy, really. Not your usual genre romance, either. Click on the title to read an excerpt here on the site, or click on the image to get a copy of the anthology. Oh, and about that cover…

Today There Is No Pain

This is sampler of the work of Broad Universe members, an organization dedicated to promoting women writers of speculative fiction. My own contribution is a piece of flash fiction about a man who escapes from a larger world of waste and futility into a place where, at least for one day, no one can find him and suffering does not exist. You can read an excerpt here on the website (click on the title) or download the sampler (click on the image) to read the whole thing, and a whole lot of other great stories and teasers as well. A good way to discover exciting new authors.

 

The Next Con

In this story, alien visitors Deenna, the captain, Daassin, the engineer, and their perky little male crewman Cukluk, are stranded on Earth. They go from one scifi convention to another, the only places where their appearance won’t get them into trouble. You can read an excerpt here on the website (click on the title) or purchase the anthology (click on the image) to read the whole thing, and a whole lot of other great stories about paranormal events taking place under the guise of conventions.

The Necessity of Creation

I offered this to the Women’s League of Ale Drinkers because I like the idea that such an organization exists, and am delighted to be a part of it. They were delighted with the story, and published it in their Journal, which is dedicated to quirky stories by creative woman (or perhaps the other way around). One caution: I read this aloud at an event a while ago, and the mother of the home-schooled ten-year-old girl sitting in the front row was not amused. I was not invited back. Know your audience before you choose your material.

ChimeraChimera

As published in Absent Willow Review and anthologized in AWR’s Best Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2009.

This falls into the category of horror without the injection of humor I generally prefer.  Gail Gray, editor of Fissure Magazine and owner of Shadow Archer Press,  calls it, “one of the most brilliant, highly researched, personable and quirky stories I’ve ever read.”

Ferrit and Faux

As published in Speculative Mystery Iconoclast, November 2008

King Beneficent’s Lord High Spy must insure that nothing goes wrong at the wedding of Princess Narcissia and Prince Flambay, as must King Magnanimus’s Lord High Spy, who is actually a Lady, although King Magnanimus doesn’t know it.   There is an agent for one side among the scullery maids, but she is informed only by an agent loyal to the other side who is actually loyal to the first side but whom they do not know is loyal to them.  The Lord High Spy knows all of them, of course, although he doesn’t let on that he knows them unless he knows that they know that he knows them.  Confused?  Just leave it to Ferrit and Faux to sort it all out in this medieval mystery spy spoof.

Archimedes Nesselrode

(the short story version)

As published in Crossed Genres magazine #5, 2009

First came the short story, whose characters proved so richly delightful that I just had to expand it into a novel, which eventually was published by Double Dragon.  (Details about that are over here.)

Shimmer Summer 2007 coverThe Perfect Hook

As published in Shimmer, “Speculative Fiction for a Miscreant World”, in their Summer 2007 Pirate Issue with special editor John Joseph Adams.

Here’s a reveiw of the issue by John Ottinger III, in which he says, “Justine Graykin adds to the legend of Captain Hook with The Perfect Hook. Like Peter Pan, her story is of an alternate reality. But the protagonist is unusual in that she is a plump, middle-aged mother. Setting up a juxtaposition between wanting to relive her glory days as a young woman and her current responsibilities, Graykin gives her character vibrancy and kinship with the reader. When the protagonist makes her choice, I applauded it. This was one of my favorite stories of this issue.”

Here’s an interview with the author posted on Shimmer’s site.

Love Me, Love My Hellbeast

Arkham Tales picked up this Lovecraftian romance, but was a victim of the economic downturn before it got published.  In it, Anastasia Marsh reluctantly teams up with Arthur Orne in a blasphemous plan to thwart the Great Old Ones and invite the return of the Elder Gods.  If they succeed, mighty Cthulhu is going to be mighty pissed off.  The treacherous heir to the Whateley wizard mantle, Seth Whateley, plots to replace Arthur in Anastasia’s scheme, but his interference may open the door to unspeakable eldritch terrors. Click on the title to read an excerpt.

Rushes

Winner of the Seacoast Writers Association 2005 competition and anthologized in Currents V.

This is one of my few non-Speculative Fiction stories, about the heartbreaking choices we have to make between the facets of our lives we love most.  You can achieve anything you set your mind to — as long as it is the only thing you set your mind to.

White Man’s Burden

Achieving your Manifest Destiny can be the worst fate of all.
Another unpublished story. It concerns the desperate attempt of a modern civilized man to connect with the wisdom of the native people who lived close to nature, only to have Nature tell him to sod off. Click on the title to read an excerpt.

Haunted House

Not all ghosts are supernatural.
I wrote this for a reading at World Fantasy 2007 (the theme that year was “Ghosts and Revenants”). It has become my default reading whenever a ghost story is called for. Our own memories can be the worst haunting of all.

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